Every superhero has an origin story. This is the origin story for Saber Boy. The scene: last night, after Randy Miller of the South Jersey Courier-Post revealed that he was one of the nine Hall of Fame voters who submitted blank ballots. Friend of HBT, Bill from The Platoon Advantage, inquired about his voting approach on Twitter. Watch as a legend is born before your very eyes:
And now, behold Saber Boy, in all of his glory, as conceived by Sarah Wiener. Who is now selling t-shirts with His likeness:
Bill has gone all-in with this, changing his Twitter handle to @Saber_Boy and everything. At least temporarily. As he says, he’s “The hero the BBWAA needs, not the one it particularly wants right now.”
I still think Batman is the best, but Saber Boy may actually be more relevant to my life.
Around this time last year, the ink was drying on Manny Machado‘s 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres and Bryce Harper was about to put the finishing touches on his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies. We had gotten used to premier free agents hanging out in limbo until late February and even into March. This past offseason, however, was a return to normal. The top three free agents — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg — all signed in December. Once the big names are off the board, the lesser free agents subsequently tend to find homes. There were a handful of noteworthy signings in January, but pretty much everyone was off the board when February began.
There are a handful of free agents remaining as I write this, with one name really sticking out: Yasiel Puig. Last season, between the Reds and Indians, Puig hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 611 plate appearances. He was one of only seven players in the league last year to hit at least 24 home runs and swipe at least 19 bases. While Puig has had some problems over the years, he still possesses a rare blend of power and speed that would seem useful.
The Marlins, White Sox, and Rockies have been linked to Puig this offseason. His market has been otherwise quiet since he became a free agent. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden suggests Puig will have to settle for a “pillow contract” — a one-year deal with which Puig reestablishes his market value, aiming to pursue a multi-year deal the following offseason. Along with the aforementioned three teams, Bowden suggests the Mariners, Indians, Pirates, Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals as other teams that could potentially fit with Puig, which is not to be confused with teams having expressed interest in his services.